04-02-2008, 10:15 AM #1
Anyone use the beaches in Hatteras NC?
Please read if you do, call and fax your representative!!! We have only three days left to get our voice heard!!!
Help us! Help us help protect free and open access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.
We want to inform you of an important issue that has the potential to affect you as guests and vacationers to Cape Hatteras. Environmental groups have filed an injunction to prohibit beach driving on Cape Hatteras National Seashore. A Federal District Judge is hearing this case on Friday, April 4th, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
If using your four-wheel drive vehicle to access your favorite spots on the seashore is an activity you enjoy on vacation, we need your voice.
History of Seashore
When Congress created the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area in 1953, only sand roads existed! Beach driving was and has always been a way of life here. At that time, land owned by many local residents was transferred to the Federal Government to be a part of the designated National Seashore. In the negotiations for this land, the United States Government promised the residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke who gave up their land, that traditional access, such as beach driving, would be honored.
We do not have traditional beach accesses such as boardwalks and numerous large parking lots with easy paths to flat beaches. Our beaches are vast, remote and protected by sand dunes. We have designated ramps for four-wheel drive access. Beach driving is essential to accessing many of our beaches, especially for people who are elderly, infirmed or handicapped, and small children who cannot walk three miles in thick sand to see the famous Diamond Shoals or inlets.
It is important to note also, that in order to clearly differentiate land as a wildlife refuge and land as recreational use area, Congress designated Cape Hatteras National Seashore as a Recreational Area. The clearly stated intent of Congress was to provide locals and vacationers an area to enjoy activities such as camping, surf fishing, boating, kiteboarding, surfing, beachcombing, etc.
A small group of out-of-state environmentalists now want the government to break that promise and ban beach driving. Additionally, they want to usurp traditional recreational land, such as Cape Point, and designate it as wildlife refuge, restricting human access to the most famous surf-fishing spot on the East Coast. Already, over 85% of our island is protected by law against further development, so that the natural habitat may continue to flourish.
Extreme environmentalists claim that a prohibition of beach driving will “save” the piping plover, which have been spotted infrequently on Cape Hatteras. In fact, from 1902-1960 no piping plover nests were ever spotted on Cape Hatteras. Since 1901, there have never been more than fifteen breeding pairs of piping plovers, ever, at one time, on the island. An abundance of feral cats, gulls, fox, and Mother Nature in the form of high storm and lunar tides, have resulted in unsuccessful nesting. In fact the least successful nesting area on our Seashore is Portsmouth, Island – where no private four-wheel drive is allowed!
Although the National Park Service does not have a formal beach driving management plan, they have an interim plan, and are developing a long-term plan so that a balance between recreational use and wildlife protection is upheld. Local residents, business owners, government representatives, sports enthusiasts, and also environmentalists have all been working with them to ensure that all interests are represented in the plan-making process. This is a federally commissioned group to ensure that a democratic process prevails and that recreational use and wildlife protection can exist in harmony.
Unfortunately, extreme environmentalists have chosen to bypass the agreed upon democratic process, and now seek drastic action that will significantly and detrimentally impact local communities and vacationing families.
Midgett Realty and the entire Midgett Familysupport strict enforcement of responsible beach driving and protection of bird and turtle nesting areas.However, we object strongly to the fact that the legislation that created Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, America’s first National Seashore, may be violated without benefit of democratic process.
The real issue we are facing is one of balance –the balance between protection of the natural habitat of the seashore we so fondly call home – and the recreational enjoyment of the natural wonders it beholds. We have a process in place to monitor that balance. But environmental obstructionists are undermining that process. They are threatening the promise made by the US Government to the residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands to keep free and open access to our beaches.
Please, if you share our concerns, call your home states federally elected representative (find here: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ ) and do the following:
- Explain the issue. Your National Seashore access is being altered without the benefit of the democratic process and the enabling legislation is being violated.
- Ask them to place a call to the appropriate officials at the US Department of Justice and ask why you, as a private citizen, are being punished for the United States Park Service not doing their job by creating the Off Road Vehicle Plan required by federal Law.
- Ask your elected representative to defend the Recreational aspect of the enabling legislation that created the seashore.
Please visit http://www.islandfreepress.org to stay abreast of breaking news.
04-02-2008, 06:18 PM #2
Proud Life Member #11144 NC Beach Buggy Assoc.
Also, Outer Banks Preservation Association OBPA
Also, Recreational Fishing Alliance RFA
I support open beach access to the FULLEST!!!!
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